Paper Is Green



In India, Paper Industry “DOES NOT CUT FORESTS”.

Paper Industry produces majority of the paper pulp by recycling Waste paper, Pulping agricultural residues like wheat straw, paddy straw and sugarcane bagasse.

In India 46% of the Paper is produced using Waste Paper – Recycling. Around 22% of the Paper is produced using Agricultural Residues like Wheat Straw, Paddy Straw and Bagasse. Only 32 % of the Indian Paper Industry uses Wood as the raw material for manufacturing Paper.

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 1.1. Wood.

The wood used in paper making (Eucalyptus, Subabul and Casuarina selected varieties) are sourced from responsibly managed plantations. Majority of wood say around 88% of the wood needed by the Indian Paper Industry is generated by the Farmers as Plantations and Social Forestry by the Paper Mills. Also government sells wood procured from the forests- fallen trees and very old trees, which is procured by the Paper Mills. This constitutes to around 12% of the wood used by the Paper Industry.

 1.1.1 Plantations

Farmers in the surrounding areas of the paper mills are encouraged to grow various varieties of Wood used by the Paper Industry. The Paper Mills offer saplings, train farmers in farming the plants and also offer commitment of procuring the wood once it comes to the required size. The farmers are also allowed to sell their product – wood in the open market. Few paper mills offer financial support to the farmers and encourage them to grow plantations needed by the paper industry.

1.1.2. Social – Forestry

The Paper Mills plant 4 trees for every one cut/consumed by the industry in the land allotted to them by the Government. We must understand that young trees are much more efficient at absorbing carbon than old trees. Mature trees absorb carbon slower the older they become. To maximize the carbon storage the trees can provide, we need young healthy forests where trees are regularly harvested and re-grown.

For Example ITC Limited, PSPD (Indian Tobacco Company Limited – Paper Boards and Specialty Papers Division) has total Plantations at 1,63,000 hectares and have generated over 73 million person-days of employment. Paper Industry also goes for FSCFM Certification (Forest Stewardship Council Forest Management). FSCTM (Forest steward ship council) is an NGO with global presence and as it goes in the name has its basic working in the fields of Forest & Forest Produce. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSCTM) is an International organization that brings people together to find solutions which promote responsible stewardship of the world’s forests. Its trademark provides international recognition to organizers who support the growth of responsible forest management worldwide and its product label allows consumers to recognize products that support the growth of forest management worldwide.

ITC PSPD till date has facilitated the certification of 22, 804 hectares of Plantations owned by more than 24,000 small and marginal farmers.

1.2. Pulp Making from Agro Residues in India.
1.2.1. Sugarcane Bagasse

The agro-wastes such as Sugar cane bagasse is received from nearby area. The raw material contains pith, dust and fins etc. which are considered non-process elements. These are removed by dry-depithing or dry de-dusting before being fed into washing section. The pith so obtained from the dry depithing are fired in boiler, as it has a good calorific value. The raw material is passed through pulper/ drum washer. The raw material is washed only with the available backwater from the process sections. Due to vigorous Agitation in the pulper, the other non-process elements are also removed. Some part of free water is carried along with the raw material which is then fed into aqua-separator. The aqua-separator helps in removing the excess water from raw material.

The depithed/ dedusted & washed material is then squeezed into screw press. The water so obtained from aqua—separator & screw press is collected & screened in B-2 thickener for reuse again in pulper.

1.2.2. Wheat or Paddy Straw Pulping

Straw is an agricultural by-product, the dry stalks of cereal plants, after the grain and chaff have been removed. Biomass is the mass of living organisms and recently dead matter like wood, leaves, stalks, straw and other organic matter. Wheat-straw waste is a natural byproduct of the industrial fractionation of wheat straw.
• This material consists approximately 38% of cellulose, 20% of lignin, 20% of xylose and a little of arabinose and ash. The total dry matter reaches 24.3%.
• Wheat straw is renewable, widely distributed, available locally, moldable, anisotropic, hydroscopic, recyclable, versatile, non-abrasive recyclable,
porous, visco elastic, easily available in many forms, biodegradable, combustible, compostable, and reactive.
• Wheat straw is one of the most abundant and cheap agricultural wastes available in India. Wheat straw is predominantly disposed of by direct burning in open field due to lack of effective utilization, which also causes serious environmental pollution.
• The processing of straw differs from that of wood in the initial stage of the composite material process. The harvested and baled wheat straw is size-reduced (chopped), hammer-milled, screened, and pre-wetted before defibration (the fiber-refining process)
• Wheat straw pulp will likely be used in blends with wood pulps or sugarcane bagasse pulp in proportions consistent with and hemicelluloses in the pulp and paper industry is the biobleaching of pulp, the production of dissolving pulp, the treatment of wastewater and the deinking of recycled waste paper.
Wheat straw in North India and Paddy Straw in South India is produced abundantly in India. 40-50% wheat straw is being used to feed animals by the farmers and landlords and the balance surplus is being sold into the open market.


Paper recycling is the process of turning waste paper into new paper.There are three categories of paper that can be used as feed stocks for making recycled paper: mill broke is pre-consumer waste, and post-consumer waste. Mill broke is paper trimmings and other paper scrap from the manufacture of paper, and is recycled internally in a paper mill. Pre-consumer waste is material which left the paper mill but was discarded before it was ready for consumer use. Post-consumer waste is material discarded after consumer use, such as old corrugated containers (OCC), old magazines, old newspapers (ONP), office paper, old telephone directories, and residential mixed paper (RMP). Waste paper is graded and out-throws removed with the help of belt conveyors. Then the Plastic content in the waste paper is removed with the help of Plastic Separator and then the print/ink is removed using De-inking Process. Then the waste paper is put into the pulper for pulping. There are number of Paper Mills in India and the world using Waste Paper as their main raw material for Paper Pulp making. High grade qualities are being manufactured by mixing a percentage of agro pulp or wood pulp to the waste paper pulp and with the help of latest technologies available in the world/India.


Paper is the most recycled material in Europe and more than half of the paper produced comes from recycling. In Europe 70.4% of paper in use is collected for recycling. Nine out of the 10 corrugated boxes are made from recycled fiber and nine out of 10 newspapers feature on recycled paper. Year after year recycling rates continue to rise.In India collection system of Waste Paper is very poor. Around 20-25% of the Paper consumed in India only comes back to the Industry for Re-cycling. This is very low when compared to Developed Nations percentage which is as high as 70%. There is a good scope for improving the waste paper collection system in India. Government of India under “Swacch Bharat” can include and promote collection of waste paper from households so that percentage of recovery of waste paper in the county can be increased from the existing 20% to say 50-60%.The best contribution that citizens can make towards responsible paper consumption is by contributing to recycling, by separating used paper from other
residues and putting them in the appropriate containers. The government and Industry can also take the help of the NGO’S in this activity of educating the masses about the importance of recycling of waste paper which helps in cleaning and also generates wealth for the public. By increasing the percentage of waste
paper collection in India, the government can save valuable Foreign Exchange as of now huge quantities of waste paper is being imported into India.ITC is conducting WOW PROGRAM (Wealth out of Waste Program) through which ITC educates consumers regarding source segregation and collecting waste for Recycling. ITC started to give one fresh note book for every 3 or 4 old used note books/text books to the students. Under this program the students are taught about the importance of segregation of waste paper and Recycling. ITC has collected close to 26,000 Mts. of waste paper in 2013-2014 under this program.

Now that we have BUSTED the MYTH Paper Industry in India cuts forests whereas in REALITY Indian Paper Industry does not Cut Forests, let us discuss the other MYTHS and REALITY about Indian Paper Industry.








Energy is required for all industrial production and the paper industry is no exception. It requires energy to operate its machine and to dry the paper web. You would expect that, being a large scale undertaking, the paper industry consumer huge amounts of energy, yet it does not. For economical and environmental reasons the paper industry works continuously to optimize its process by becoming more self sufficient. The mix of fuel it uses has continued to evolve, with most mills producing much of their electricity and most of their heat on site. More and more electricity is supplied to the national grid too. Overall, more than half of the EU pulp and paper industry primary energy consumption is based on biomass, which corresponds to one fifth of the bio-energy produced in Europe. Biomass is produced by the pulp and paper industry by using/burning residues and waste material from the pulping process to provide energy for the manufacturing process itself. Often excess heat and power is produced which is sol to the grid or used by the local community.

Vital difference between the Fossil Fuel and Bio Fuel is one of time scale. Biomass takes carbon out of the atmosphere while it is growing and returns it as it is burned. Managed on a sustainable basis, biomass is a completely replenish able crop. This maintains a closed carbon cycle and preserves valuable fossil fuels.
ITC PSPD, in India is using around 45% bio fuels and 55% fossil fuel in their


In case of waste paper based paper mills the consumption of power is very much lesser as the process is simple. As 48% of the paper in India is produced from this segment overall per mt consumption of power is very low in India.



Agriculture accounts for around 90% of total consumption of water in India and its challenges as a result of water stress are aggravated by the huge inequalities in geographical distribution as well as by the fact that the entire monsoon rainfall occurs around a 12 week period.Water used for the paper production is mostly circulated within the manufacturing system. The water discharged is purified, in high end waste water treatment facilities. The paper Industry has become an active partner in thedevelopment of water stewardship and water foot printing and is developing comprehensive water reporting guidelines for the sector. It has recently been an active partner in the development of a globally harmonized understanding of
water stewardship.

Paper Industry is continuously working on reducing its specific water consumption in Mt3/ ton. The past decade saw water consumption of paper machines being reduced by more than 50%. The Indian average specific water consumption in Mt3/ton was reduced to 68 in 2012-13 where it was 149 in 2000-2001. ITC PSPD as on March 31, 2014 through their Integrated Watershed Development Projects, covering nearly 1,49,000 hectares of land, support the Water Positive status of the Company for the 12th Year in a row. The total rainwater harvesting potential so far created by the company is over two times the net water consumption of their operations.

The above details are of the 30% Mills in India where usage of wood take place. In case of Mills where Waste Paper is used as raw material the usage of water is very very low as majority of the waste paper based paper mills run on 2 or 3 borewells.

As 48% of the paper is produced in India by this segment the usage of water in manufacture of paper in per mt in India is very low.



WATER COMING OUT OF PAPER MILLS SOMETIMES IS CLEANER AND BETTER THAN WHEN IT GOES IN Water used for the paper production is mostly circulated within the manufacturing system. The water is discharged is purified in high end waste water treatment facilities. In fact, water coming out of a paper production mill is cleaner than when it goes in.As mentioned earlier, the paper industry is working continuously on reducing its water consumption and is able to achieve that during the last decade. Once the consumption is reduced, automatically the effluent discharge too will come down.

The specific treated effluent Discharge in Mt3/ton has been reduced from 128 Mt3/ton in 2001 to 57 Mt3/ton in 2012-13. Even the effluent discharged is treated and does no harm to the environment. In most of the cases, the paper mills are using this effluent in their social forestry or alternatively supplying the
same to the farmers in the surround areas for their crops. ITC PSPD specified treated effluent discharge in Mt3/ton stands at 57 in 2012-13, when compared to 128 during 2001-2002. GHG (Green House Gases) Emissions of Indian Paper Industry has also come done during the last decade and now average stands at 2.6 ton/ton. ITC PSPD GHG emissions stand at 1.5 ton/ton.

The above details are of the 30% Mills in India where usage of wood take place. In case of Mills where Waste Paper is used as raw material the usage of water is very low as majority of the waste paper based paper mills run on 2 or 3 bore wells.Also usage of chemicals is negligible in the waste paper based paper mills as the the pulp making process is very simple. Automatically the discharge is low from this segment of paper mills. Also as the pulp making process is simple in waste paper based mills, emission of gasses is also very low and negligible. As waste paper based paper mills contribute to 48% of Indian Paper Production the average or per mt emission of gasses and discharge is very low in India.


Paper is 100% recyclable.

Paper is 100% bio-degradable.

Paper is the most sustainable products known to man.

Paper leaves alight foot print and a lasting impression.


6.1.Now that it is established that Paper is Green – Environmental Friendly, let us spread this information to one and all and see that more and more people know the reality about paper and start using paper instead of Plastic.

6.2. This must be a warning to corporate houses who try to save crores of rupees by way of savings on paper, printing and courier charges of their invoices by saying to their customers that paper industry cuts trees and so shift to e-bill. These corporate houses hardly do anything for the environment nor do we have information about their growing trees/plantation. These corporate houses just using the word “environment”, play on the psychology of the customers and save hundreds and thousands of crores. This must be stopped immediately.

6.3. The reality about the Paper must be included into the school and college syllabus so that the next generation knows what myth is and what reality is about Paper.

6.4. The society must be encouraged to use more and more paper and reduce consumption of Plastic for a better tomorrow.

6.5. We must encourage children to study from printed books rather than from the electronic gadgets as reading from books make them memorize faster, read more number of pages with less strain. Reading from gadgets not only expose children to radiation but also make them waste their valuable time as the children
get attracted to games from gadgets. Instead children must be encouraged to read from printed books and play indoor and outdoor games for a healthy and better future.


1) Sugarcane Bagasse Pulp making from Bindal Paper Mills website.
2) Myth and Reality from
3) ITC Ltd., (PSPD) and Centre for Science and Environment.